Planning a Cuttle/Squid Tank

Discussion in 'Tank Talk' started by M.wilson271, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. M.wilson271

    M.wilson271 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    The General Plan
    • Cuttlefish or Squid (I think cuttles (s. bandensis) are more realistic)
    • 350-500 Gallons of aquarium(s) - glass
    • 50-100 Gallons of sump
    • Large Protein Skimmer

    While I am not new to the aquarium hobby, I am new to cephalopod care. I have been visiting Tonmo for a few years now off and on and have done my best to educate myself on both the care and cost of keeping cephalopods.

    I am mainly looking for ideas at this point - things to design into a system, things to avoid. I am also trying to figure out if I want one large display tank, or to split it into a system of tanks (i.e. 5x100 gallon tanks). Any suggestions or ideas would be most helpful.

    I expect to have the system planned, built, and cycled by the end of fall/early winter. (it seems like a long way off, but I do not plan on rushing at any step of the way - especially cycling the tank)

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions,
    Mike
     
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    :cuttlehi:I'm afraid I have not experience with such a large tank but wanted to comment so I can follow along. I know @sirreal is struggling with restarting a 300 gallon tank so I am tagging him for comments :sagrin:
     
  3. cuttlegirl

    cuttlegirl Colossal Squid Supporter Registered

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    :shock: How many cuttlefish are you planning on keeping? If you get one big tank you might as well get Sepia officinalis. Sepia bandensis are just going to get lost unless you have 5 100 gallon tanks.

    How fun to plan such a big tank.
     
  4. M.wilson271

    M.wilson271 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I definitely am planning to have a tank or two for keeping live food. Assuming I will have an ongoing population, I will need to keep the adults and children separate.

    The main reason I am talking about a system this large is from my experience with my 180 g. It seemed like a large tank to start, but by the end of my reef-keeping phase I had run out of space.

    All in all, I figured if I have the space to go big, why not?
     
  5. sirreal

    sirreal Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Bigger is almost always better. I have to ask. Have you found a 350-500g glass tank? I ask because i have never seen much of anything over 300g "glass". plenty non glass tanks. Let me tell you I have a 300 8' in my garage and the only reason its not up and running is I dont have 8 friends who are willing to ruin there backs. i am guessing it weights just under 1k. Maybe 800lbs but I am not sure. The other issue is being 8' its not going to be easy to get in the door. "Wish i had double doors" Have you ever heard of a 300dd tank?

    now the idea the idea of having several hooked together is a great idea. Me personally I would go with 3 150s or if you dont want the 6' then maybe the 120 breeder or combos of any. I would love to see what you have in mind for a skimmer. I have an Itech 400. Its a local made skimmer but built like a tank with 2 tunze hydrofomers on it.
    Setting up tanks for cephs is a bit different. I dont use flow pumps only because of octos loosing arms. I know most here do use them but I am not willing to take a chance so my overflow and return systems are way oversized. On my 93 cube I am using a littlegiant pressure pump rated fpr 2000g per hour. I use 2.5" pipe for over flow and 1" for return.

    Just some simple things to think about. Good luck
     
  6. M.wilson271

    M.wilson271 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Thanks for the advice!

    I do not have a tank picked out yet. I have both the size and weight issues when it comes to a large tank. My workaround if I decide to go 200+ is to construct it in place. Going this large for a single tank is less likely for me, but is still under consideration.

    So far, having 5x 95g (48x24x17) tanks in a cascade seems to be the leading design at the moment. I might end up simplifying the design by using standard overflows instead of the cascade.

    One question I am not capable of answering is tank depth vs. horizontal space. What do you think is an appropriate depth for an S. Bandensis tank? Will 15" of water be enough, or should I be looking for something taller?
    (15" = 17" - substrate - top of tank without water)

    Final protein skimmer is still not decided yet. I have been eyeing something like the mr-4 or mr-6 from my reef creations. I have the space for the mr-7, but it would probably be overkill (rated for 1500g).

    Thank you for the advice. I will try to keep the thread up to date with progress (and pictures).
     
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  7. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Cool - please do keep us posted. Thanks for joining TONMO!
     
  8. magnetar68

    magnetar68 O. vulgaris Registered

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    I had adult S. Bandendid in a 20G Long which is only about 15" high and they were fine. They aren't swimmers or column risers, then tend to hover in the shade of a rock or a coral.
     
  9. Tentagal

    Tentagal Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    How exciting! I would recommend either Sepia bandensis or bobtail squid (Euprymna or Rossia), if you can find them. They're both very straightforward for a new ceph keeper. I'm assuming you're interested in culturing them? It would be a good idea, since they dont live that long and if they're happy, they'll be laying eggs anyway!

    Multiple tanks is definitely the way to go. Perhaps a few smaller (40-50gal) tanks for eggs, hatchlings, juveniles, and one larger one for the main display? Its best to keep the age classes separate since their diets will be different, also the hatchlings are so small youd lose them in a larger tank. Keep us posted!
     
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  10. M.wilson271

    M.wilson271 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I guess I'm committed at this point to my current design. Sunday, I picked up a 125 gallon (4'x2'x25") tank.
    I will be getting at least two 50 gallon tanks (Zoo-Med 50 gallon breeder) to house the food and possibly two more to raise the little ones. I'm not sure if I'm going to have the two food-tanks overflow into the main tank, or if I will just run them separate of the main system - time will tell.

    My live-rock is just starting to finish its ammonia cycle. I will probably try and figure out the final placement for the tanks sometime soon and begin aqua-scaping the 125 in preparation for any additional cycling that may ensue.

    Any suggestions on sand (fine vs coarse)?
    I know some will swear by bare bottom tanks, but I would like to have some sand in the tank. Not 100% certain if all cuttles hide in sand, but I bumped into this article and would like to give them the option to bury themselves. I am already planning on fixing the liverock to a pvc frame so there can be no accidents if too much sand is moved.

    Thanks for all the suggestions! I will try to keep the thread updated when I make more progress.
     

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  11. Tentagal

    Tentagal Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    What species are you going to try?
     
  12. M.wilson271

    M.wilson271 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I am leaning towards S. Bandensis. I know it isn't as exciting as a larger species, but I like to understock my tanks to keep the environment more stable for its inhabitants.
     
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  13. M.wilson271

    M.wilson271 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    I managed to get the glass in today to be used to build some more tanks for the system. There is enough glass to build 4x 60g tanks (24" x 48" x 12" tall).

    I expected to be building them sooner rather than later, but I had my car rear-ended by a school bus on Tuesday and will be busy dealing with that aftermath. Thankfully no one was seriously injured.
     

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  14. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Oh boy ... really glad everyone is ok!

    Project seems to be coming along nicely :thumbsup:
     
  15. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    You didn't happen to post a photo on FaceBook did you? It is likely a coincidence but I saw a post lauding science for building safer cars the same day you posted this.
     
  16. M.wilson271

    M.wilson271 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Nope, that wouldn't be me. I am one of the few who doesn't have a Facebook account.
     
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  17. M.wilson271

    M.wilson271 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Sorry for taking so long with an update - I have finally got my 125 in good enough shape to post. Right now I have the tank full of water and the filter up and running. Since I lost some of my budget due to the car accident, I have fallen back to using some of my equipment from my reef-keeping days.

    IMG_20170507_210953.jpg IMG_20170507_211028.jpg

    I have been fighting with a few leaks, but nothing serious. Assuming everything seems fine with this system, I will begin working with the glass to build my 60 gallon tanks.
     
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  18. tonmo

    tonmo Titanites Staff Member Webmaster Moderator

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    Nice -- looks great!
     
  19. M.wilson271

    M.wilson271 Pygmy Octopus Registered

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    Well, I attempted to assemble one of my 60G tanks yesterday - it didn't turn out well, but I did learn a bit while assembling.

    I ended up with half of the seams looking great, and the other half with lots of bubbles (which will need to be re-done). Unfortunately, the seams that are bad are on opposite corners of the tank. This means I'll need to completely disassemble the tank and try again.

    The thing I am glad I learned this time was that if you are just learning to build a tank from glass panes, be sure to use CLEAR silicone. If I had used black or white, I'd have no idea that I had the seam issues. If I had just used it as-is, i t would be quite likely that the tank would have failed between weeks and months later.

    The image on the left is a good seam (ignore the spillover at the top and bottom).
    The image on the right has a hazy seam and that gap in the middle is where there is no silicone! (by far the worst seam)
    IMG_20170524_181940.jpg IMG_20170524_182030.jpg

    I'll tear this tank up and try again when I get a chance. All in all, a great learning experience, but not terribly productive.
     
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